If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time as an indie publisher, it’s that some people love hearing numbers, and other people become upset by them. I’m not bragging or complaining about sales or profits here; I’m providing data so others can choose how they want to price their books. If you do not care for this type of post, avert your eyes now.
Charlotte Collins Sale: Inconclusive
In mid-June, I put Charlotte Collins on a limited-time sale at $0.99. This was supposed to last only 30 days, but due to some technical glitches, it ran longer. This happened to correspond exactly with a major overall slowdown of all ebook sales. According to my sources, things dropped for everyone by about 15 percent. This means I can’t accurately compare the May and June numbers. I’ll need to compare my June and July numbers to tell you for sure if it was worth it.
My gut says that the numbers are not going to work out. In order to make as much money, I have to sell six times more books at $.99 as I do at $2.99. I don’t think that’ll happen, and I’m guessing that’s because Charlotte is in a niche market of a niche market. However, I don’t regret the sale because it kept me on the Regency Romance Top 100 list during the sales slowdown, giving me more exposure to readers.
Absolute Liability Launch: Success
I decided to use an aggressive launch strategy with Absolute Liability by combining a low introductory price ($0.99) with 4 major marketing pushes. My goal was bulk sales to help break the book into the competitive thriller genre and get it to show up on some genre bestsellers lists if possible. This was a huge success. The book topped out at 430 on the Kindle bestsellers list and has stayed strong on three genre lists. Since its launch, it has sold almost 1,400 copies. Insane!
How does this translate to income? Right now I’m averaging 100 sales per day at $.99, which translates to about $35 in income. To earn the same amount, I’d have to sell only 17 books at $2.99. Shocking difference.
I don’t regret the $.99 price at all. It provides visibility on Amazon, which is basically free advertising, and one of my goals with the book is to hook readers on my series. I want them to love my characters as much as I do, and to fall in love, they have to be first willing to try a new author. I’m wooing people, I hope.
My goal has always been to sell good books at competitive prices. I’m not trying to make a million dollars, but I would like to make a living wage. So I am searching for the best balance of attracting readers and profit, and that means finding the price point where highest number of readers meets highest royalty. I just have no idea where that is, and my guess is that it changes based on genre.
So will I experiment with the price? Yes. My overall goal is to make a living writing good books, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do that. I cannot be afraid to look for the best price point and try different strategies. But there is a lot of fallacious thinking out there. Some believe that once you drop off a bestseller list, you can’t ever get the momentum back. That’s just not true. I’ve watched books rise and fall and rise again. So even if I make a mistake, it doesn’t spell doom.
If you want more info on pricing, go here.